A Lorenzo Da Ponte’s Life: Talent Flies; Practical reason Walks
a life of Lorenzo Da Ponte: Talent Flies; Practical Reason Walks
Among the world’s favorite operas, we find three of them with a libretto written by Lorenzo Da Ponte and music by none other than the amazing Viennese cooker Mozart. The list is a joy in itself: the marriage of Figaro, Don Giovann, and Cos Fan Tutte.
We learn in the new book, The Librettist or Venice, by Rodney Bolt, that Da Ponte became so close to the unmatched Mozart, both of whom we learn were not only talented, but in vain, uncertain and ambitious that while they were Don Giovanni writes, they worked in adjacent lodges and shouted through their windows to each other.
Da Ponte even dared fight Mozart, who believed that the text should be subordinate to the music, while Da Ponte was sure that the words should be primary, that even Mighty Mos music would be nothing without his poetry.
Still, how did Da Ponte tumbled out of the heights. Hard as it may be, he rolled up in New York and managed a grocery store on the Bowery at a time.
Brilliant as an artist, apparently in his personal life, he was a management monolith. Or, of course, while talent is flying, the practical reason is just like a relative moron.
When Ponte, born Jewish, was ordered by a priest because of his father’s decision that the family had to become Catholics for the relaxation of a trade world. But his true calling was married women. His exploitation teaches us, contender Casanova, who became his friend and if we believe such a thing is possible in the category at hand, his mentor is.
Da Ponte acknowledged a shortcoming in comparison with his rival companions: he did not have Casanova’s alleged talent to flee the women he falsely wanted. In fact, Da Ponte claims he actually loved who he compiled.
He also considered himself politely polite, but his movements were disastrous. He upset the successors of Joseph II so much that he was banned from Vienna.
Still technically a priest, he was married to a younger but wiser practical woman named Nancy Grahl, but even she could not keep the man from bankruptcy in London and again in America, where they moved in 1805 because her family had established here.
He tried to establish Italian opera companies when English-speaking audiences had little interest in them. To add onions, the grocery business failed.
He eventually became a teacher, bookstore and wannabe impresario.
On the plus side, New York was the most pleasant place for him. It was relatively liberal, and Da Ponte found himself as a favorite of the cultural elite.
He became the first Italian professor at Columbia University. While the position was very ceremonial, Da Ponte had the dual distinction to be the first Jew and first priest at the school faculty.
He lived in his 80’s, respectful, but regarded as eccentric.
He loved the man who appealed to be from Europe when such a state is still considered a novel.
Yet, when one compares his everyday purposes with his winged collaboration with Mozart, he can first shake his head with the recognition of how quicksilver brilliantly is the remarkable talent of talent, until the mental processes we can only hope will answer in our expectant consciousness, compared with the “first we do it and then we do it” plodding the practical but still priceless mind.